The Road Not Taken

Of course, action speaks louder than words. But, believe me, inaction speaks even louder. And that is why India has been beating Pakistan in international politics, every step of the way.

On the recent Kashmir Solidarity Day, this author had the privilege to share a round table with Ex Ambassador to India, Mr. Abdul Basit; Gen Rtd Amjad Shoaib; Mukhtar Baba; Ms. Farzana; and many more, conducted by the Legal Forum for the Oppressed Voices of Kashmir. The said forum is managed by young men and women from IIOK – Illegally Indian Occupied Kashmir.

The conference concluded that Pakistan is so good at guarding her secrets that even the foreign office and foreign ministers rarely know about Pakistan’s secret Kashmir Policy if any. There is no envoy for the Kashmir issue. Foreign Office has no specialized staff or wing whatsoever for Kashmir. Addresses at UNGA may portray our resolve but our actions, rather inactions, speak volumes of how serious we are about Kashmir.

India, on the other hand, has not only spoken of Kashmir as her integral part but also has taken blatant steps such as the August 05 annexation. Whereas Pakistan has abundantly celebrated the premier speeches and mention of Kashmir by one or two foreign leaders. I am reminded of Mukhtar Baba’s words, “Solidarity is for neighbors. Is Kashmir not Pakistan? Why celebrate a day of solidarity if Pakistan really truly believes Kashmir to be a part of Pakistan, illegally occupied by India?”

Solidarity is for neighbors. Is Kashmir not Pakistan?

One of the speakers at the conference, a learned scholar and Ph.D. scholar, highlighted that Pakistan and India could have shared billions of dollars worth of trade, had Kashmir not been a problem between the two nuclear power states. But the conference concluded India has issues with all of the South Asian States, even those that do not share borders with Kashmir or Pakistan. Thus, the problem is not Kashmir; the problem is India and her tyrant mentality.

But, no matter how loud we speak of India’s tyranny over Kashmir, actions speak louder than words. And India’s actions have spoken louder than our words. In fact, our inaction has spoken even louder than India’s actions.

our inaction has spoken even louder than India’s actions.

Last year, India bombed Pakistan’s land. We claimed that we were thoroughly hurt as India had burnt a couple of our trees. We even deemed to go to the ICJ for our trees. Our forces took it to their heart and surprised India with an airstrike. How could they not, India had violated our sovereignty and integrity. How could India send her migs over Pakistan’s air space?

But when India burns houses in Kashmir, kills innocents, rapes girls, annexes IIOK, we are hardly moved. Does our inaction not scream that Kashmir is not yet a part of Pakistan, at least, not in our minds. Are the trees of Balakot more valuable than the lives of Kashmiris? Do we not even have a single room in FO for Kashmir? Have we not learned that inaction pushes us to lose on diplomatic fronts? Aren’t we ready to concede that we are losing water-related diplomatic and legal debates just because of our inaction?

We are told that Kashmiris are yet to decide if they want sovereignty, India, or Pakistan. The conference concluded: Pakistanis may be confused about what Kashmir wants, Kashmiris are not. Azadi means Pakistan, period. Kashmiris have laid their lives and will keep on laying as many lives as it requires to win freedom from India if due to foreign pressure, Pakistan cannot help Kashmiris in their armed struggle, let them at least fight and stand tall for themselves. They don’t need help, just prayers from this side of the cease-fire line. They don’t seek help but commitment that we won’t hinder this struggle.

Pakistan’s words may be strong and loud, but India’s actions have spoken aloud. Unfortunately, Pakistan’s inactions have spoken even louder. Because, action speaks louder than words, but inaction speaks even louder.

It’s been a little less than two whole years since India has revoked article 370, but Pakistan has shown no plan of action to date. If tides do not change, August 05 will become nothing more than February 05 – a day to remind us of our loss. (Edited by Mamoona Shakoor)

Also Read: No change in Pakistan’s principled stance on Kashmir dispute: FO

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